Sect. 6, Mbaruk: Makinen takes control

Tommi Makinen fought back to stamp his authority all over the Safari Rally on the sixth section of the African event by setting the fastest time over the 84.58 kilometere test by almost half a minute

Sect. 6, Mbaruk: Makinen takes control

The Mitsubishi ace was third fastest on the first stage of Leg Two behind Petter Solberg and Harri Rovanpera, but Makinen was having none of it on the Mbaruk second section and extended his overall lead by the same margin he won the stage - some 29 seconds.

Rovanpera finished second to the Finn and holds the same position overall. But the Peugeot driver is unlikely to catch fellow countryman Makinen, barring any problems for the four-time world champion, as his lead now stands at almost six minutes.

Petter Solberg, who set the pace on the day's opening section, ran into problems on Mbaruk. The Norwegian's Impreza WRC had a rear driveshaft problem, which delayed the Subaru ace. He was only fifth fastest on the stage, but managed to hold onto third place overall behind Rovanpera.

"We lost the rear driveshaft 15km before the end of the stage, so I drove steadily to get to the end," said Solberg. "It's a bit disappointing, but it's better to lose time than to be out of the rally."

Armin Schwarz continued his steady run for Skoda and with the sole Subaru struggling, the German outpaced the Ford Focus of Francois Delecour to set the third fastest time. Fifth-placed Delecour put his driveshaft problems of the previous stage behind him and finished fourth ahead of Solberg.

Schwarz's team mate Bruno Thiry came home sixth in the second Octavia WRC almost four minutes behind pacesetter Makinen.

While his team mate stretched his legs out front, Mitsubishi number two Freddy Loix finished seventh fastest without any problems on the competitive section. He did, however, run into difficulties on the road before the stage start. The Belgian's Carisma GT got stuck in third gear and while he was able to fix the problem, he was three minutes late in taking the start and netted a 30-second time penalty for his trouble.

The cars now head back to the Equator service area for the second time today. It's then back to the dusty roads once again for the Nyru section before a re-run of the day's first two stages.

For Sect. 6 Mbaruk results click here.

For full live timings table click here.

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